Whitmer calls for more money for schools, climate change in budget plan

Feb 7, 2020

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer presented her budget proposal to state lawmakers Thursday, setting the stage for a new round of bargaining with Republicans on spending plans. 

Whitmer’s plan calls for paid parental leave for state workers, and more money for schools, including grants to help teachers with out-of-pocket expenses. She wants to find a way to fund the Pure Michigan program, after vetoing that money last year.

And she says the state should step up with money for infrastructure projects.

“…So local communities can combat issues caused by climate change like high water levels, which we are going to be talking a lot about this year.”

She says grants to local governments would help them deal with erosion and the rising Great Lakes.

“In Michigan, we are uniquely positioned because we have all of this fresh water, but we also are going to be confronting some unique challenges because of the precipitation, the global warming, and the lack of a real freeze this year.” 

Her plan does not include a new road funding proposal beyond selling bonds for the most-urgent repairs. Legislative Republicans said “no” last year to her plan to raise the fuel tax. The governor says it’s now up to Republicans to offer an alternative.